Wednesday, 19 January 2011
A caring society?
I have been plucking up courage to share my thoughts about the lack of care provided by many "social care" departments in the UK and today a story has come to my attention which I have to talk about.
This morning mum Riven Vincent posted on mumsnet.com a desperate plea "we have asked SS to take DD into care; we get 6 hours respite a week; we've been refused a family link worker, they have refused extra respite, I can't cope.". (SS= social services. DD= dear daughter)
The telegraph wrote about Riven's situation in April 2010 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/david-cameron/7550304/David-Cameron-goes-back-for-round-two-after-his-Mumsnet-gaffe.html) when she net with David Cameron. Mrs Vincent suffers from multiple sclerosis, her daughter is 6 with cerebral palsy and epilepsy and therefore unable to speak, sit or feed herself.
So here we have a family where mum is sick and her daughter is severely disabled. Social services provides 6 hours of respite care a week; this means that their daughter is looked after by foster carers or similar for 6 hours each week to give mum an opportunity to rest and be with her other children. But it's not enough, mum needs more help, that's all she wants - some more support, but the system can't/won't provide get with any.
How desperate must this poor mum be to call social services and ask them to take her daughter into care?
How fenced in?
Can you imagine this situation?
I never could, I had no idea; not until I walked alongside a family in a similar situation, needing respite but being refused constantly. It's a kind of torture being constantly exhausted, it ears away at your physical and mental health. All these family's need is some help. Surely that's not much for society to provide.
If you think this situation is a one off - think again
If you think this is only a problem for one social care department - think again
If you think you are powerless to make the situation change - think again
Please let this situation, and all the others like it, touch your heart. Lobby your MP, blog about it, share on facebook and twitter, speak about it with friends. Do something, anything, please help transform our society into one that cares for everyone, especially the vulnerable.